Like a Duck

Life is a garrulous river 
glinting through wisps of cloud. 

                    A glimpse of life through cloud 
                    and I feel like a duck treading water,

scattering sparkles on the water
like van Gogh’s canvas of glowing stars.

                    I swim against the tide of stars,
                    drag my heavy body to a grassy bank

and relish the respite of the bank.
The aroma of wild garlic flourishes in the mud,

                    a choppy foam of green through the mud,
                    a fresh and verdant cloud

and, glinting through the wisps of cloud,
life is a garrulous river. 

Kim M. Russell, 27th April 2022

It’s 27th April and only three more days left of NaPoWriMo. I really enjoyed the prompt as I often write couplets and poems of fourteen lines. Today we are writing in a form called the ‘duplex’, a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown: it has fourteen lines organized into seven two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first. Seems tricky – good job I like a challenge.

26 thoughts on “Like a Duck

  1. Sometimes, like may look, smooth and silky on the surfaces, but like those ducks’ feet, they’re, pedaling hard away underneath, and we normally, don’t realize that there are, things that are, happening, beneath the surfaces of what we are, aware of too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your poem, Kim and it might nudge me to trying this form after all. I must admit I didn’t like the poetry of the creator of the form at all. You’ve given it a lyricism other attempts that I’ve read have lacked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the physicality and magical realism of this piece, particularly in these lines: “I swim against the tide of stars, / drag my heavy body to a grassy bank.” From a duck treading water to Van Gogh’s Starry Night, through mud and wild garlic and wisps of cloud–what a journey!💜🍃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Sonia. I lived in cities for years and then, thirty years ago, I moved to Norfolk and fell in love with the English countryside. We have a wild garden close to the Norfolk Broads and I will never tire of the view from my study window.


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